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Atom and Biological Science, The

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Atom and Biological Science, The


Published 1952
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Describes some of the biological effects of high energy radiations on plants and animal cells. Explains how typical experiments are conducted and demonstrates some of the protective measures required to insure the safety of the experimenters. Points out some possible applications of nuclear radiation to problems of human health, emphasizing work in the study of cancer.

Associate Producer: Warren P. Everote. "The Division of the Physical Sciences, which includes the Institute of Nuclear Studies, of the University of Chicago."

For an EBF film, this is peppy. Dramatic lighting of scientists and their apparati.


Run time 0:11:28
Production Company Encyclopaedia Britannica Films
Audio/Visual sound, b&w

comment
Reviews

Reviewer: jgruszynski - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 3, 2009
Subject: Consistent with the time
This film has to be view within the context of what was even known at the time. This is pre-DNA, pre-virus, pre-electron-microscope, etc. Back then these hadn't even been discovered yet.

Without understanding DNA, it's nearly impossible to ever get a handle on the effects of radiation on cells. It's also impossible to understand cancer. Were they grappling in the dark? Absolutely.

This represents the very earliest stages knowledge before it appears "fait a compli" in some snotty-nosed kid's politically correct and sanitized science text book or becomes a watered-down science show.

Viewing the film in this sense, you come to realize what they could not have known then and how this was the process to bootstrap and know what we accept to today as "self-evident scientific fact". It's quite spectacular in that light.
Reviewer: SirJekyllAppliance - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 7, 2007
Subject: ECT
This reminds me of the origins of ECT. After electricity was found to whizz around the nerves and muscles of frogs legs folk assumed it was a powerful phenomenon and part of the phisiology and nervous system of humans. Therefore zapping human brains with leccy would do, erm, something! I always make an analogy with 'kicking the telly', in that, that was our first response and either made it work a bit or a bit better, totally trashed it or made the fault more intermittent. Much as ECT was, and still is, used in the 'treatment' of chronic, resistant depression.

Having scoured newspaper reports of medical developments over the past couple of centuries or so, it appears that this attitude/response is the norm.

Don't even get me started on phsychiatric medication - it's origin and application! lol
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavorite - October 13, 2003
Subject: And then the nuclear rats grew to enourmous size and..
This great atom quackery film tells us of the many benefits the atom is being used to benefit agriculture, disease and other pesky problems. Some really nice shots of people handling nuclear charged rods and doing experiments that seemed like a good idea then (nuclear infused corn!) and lead us to imagine some nuclear horrors taking place much much later.
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavorite - October 7, 2003
Subject: Zzzzzzzzz......
This boring Encyclopedia Brittanica film covers the various forms of atomic biological research being done in the 50s. Lots of animal experimentation is shown, which some people might find offensive. One mildly interesting aspect of the film is that it shows a lot more female laboratory personnel than you would expect of a film from its time period. Whether or not they were paid as much as the men is not mentioned. Mostly, though, this is dull as dishwater.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: **.
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